What a Life
Born Winston Dawkins on the caribbean island of Jamaica, great expectations already hovered over the boy's head .You see in Jamaica every child is expected to make a difference . A sort of something from nothing story.From the age of Four many children had chores and had to grow up real fast .for instance, at such tender age you were expected to travel by bus or foot to to the store and bring back exact change or sent back to dispute the incorrect amount . Sounds incredible but such is the life for many people of african decent . So from an early age awareness became natural. In those days we had what we call festival . a national event that paired a boy and girl together to see which team had the most creative dance moves . After winning the local contest at school and in the community the boy Winston was selected to compete at the parish level ( Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes that are themselves divided into districts ) .Due to lack of money for proper outfits the dream died but the little boy had his first shot at the lime light. The boy would spend his days drawing and singing . how he managed to be an ' A ' student only Heaven knows At the age of 10 he took a required caribbean based examination for high school entrance called the Common Entrance Examination That was not easy because out of say a thousand students there was only room nation wide to maybe seat 300 so you had to be smart to get selected for high school or remain at this all age school and later transfer to a technical school to learn a trade Not too bad for a child that started talking at age 3.Now in high school expectations ran even higher the child was expected to set high academic standards to become a future doctor maybe. Due to the fact that he was asthmatic he wanted to find a cure. However, following ancient african tradition his uncle had chopped over his head on a tree and told him as soon as he grew past it his asthma would be cured . Strange enough it did . In high school the first year the child was very attentive finishing with the highest grade in his class by the second year he was barely in the top five . More singing of popular songs had taken over his school days .His god given talent started to emerge even more as he would draw pictures of Bruce Lee and sell them to students to supplement his lunch . That and frequent trips to the school orchard . From the start he had a big heart because allot of the money earned would be used to buy loafs of bread and cheese, most times butter to feed other children who did not have any lunch money. You see being a young student in those days was pretty rough because you had to travel to school in a taxi packed like sardines. Half the time you were late because the taxi drivers did not want to take you because students paid half the fare of adults .So after paying high school tuition and taxi fare most parents could not afford to spare money for lunch . By the third year the voice began to change drastically so the dreams of being a serious singer was ended, since in critical Jamaica you have to have the perfect voice almost as high an octave as women or you will be booed and laughed at.So the young boy concentrated more on school and was able to advance from grade three to five and able to graduate a year early at sixteen .however, this final year would prove to be most trouble some . You see at this stage you have to take a caribbean based examination in order to move to college and get your degree at even early as 19.However this is easier said than done because tuition at these universities could run you $400,000 which was before our dollar devalued that bad .I think it was $1:85 or $2:00. This was back when Jamaica did not even charge taxes ( only land tax ).Then at the same time the prime minister was telling educated graduates to invest in their future and sell cool aid ( sky juice )and bun and cheese from the back of go - carts.What an insult to all the money their parents have paid for books and tuition for their children to attend public high school.Then public high school was no joke you had to wear uniforms and if you had the wrong color sox or shoes on or forgot your neck tie you would get suspended and even 'flogged'. Knowing good and well the artist nor any of his family members the artist started to pursue a music career. It was either that, or be a runner, a cricketer or migrate to England, Canada or the USA..The boy was smart enough to get a scholarship to go to Germany to study but of course you almost had to learn to speak German. Which is easier said than done Since after 2 years of French and 4 years of Spanish he still could not speak like the natives. What they were learning was more text book stuff and proper no slang.So now the only high point Winston had was the award he got from the school for art that his teacher stole and appeared on national tv with as if he did it god knows how much it sold for. That and the recognition of the school body that appointed him to some kind of police body the school had formed.Given to students who excelled academically to go around and instill discipline.So in light of all this the young man decided to pursue a music career. His very first performance rocked the crowd.The lyrics were so solid people were looking to find fault for the first timer.The only one they could find was that he did not speak loud enough on the mike maybe due to shyness at the time.Yellow man, Professor Nuts, Papa San, Early B,Stichie and the Animal were the top names at the time.With other contenders like Sasa fras,Buro Banton and Charlie Chaplin.The respected bans were Steele Pulse and Third World who for the most part did not live on the island.The music was deep with allot of variety.If you could sing you did more roots and culture if not dancehall had to be your thing. It was too hard to imitate the likes of Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and Freddie McGregor.So the artist became a DJ.Which in most countries would be considered a mike mc or rapper. After being one of the main act with the artist Stapler on a area sound system and traveling the island performing without pay it was time to move on . performance was left to street corners and on buses .Attention was paid to farming .Farming the natural herb.Which in itself was not too lucrative since the stuff was plentiful to begin with..It was time for a change and after waiting almost two years on a waiting list Winston migrated to the USA to join his mother in New York City. Jamaica was allot of fun and still is. All you need is money to survive.Alot less stress and craziness.Alot less two faced fake people and allot less racism. You see in Jamaica our motto is 'out of many people we are one'. there you will find every race from asian, Indian black, white you name it.No one will sit back and watch you starve .The elderly get respected and talent is appreciated.